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Mercy e-News
Edition No. 610  |  04 March 2015
Featured Story
International Women's Day, 8 March 2015. Theme: 'Empowering Women - Empowering Humanity: Picture It!'

Editor: International Women’s Day this year will highlight the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted by 189 governments meeting in China 20 years ago. That coming together set the agenda for realising women’s rights and 'continues to guide the global struggle against constraints and obstacles to the empowerment of women around the world', said Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary -General. 'When we empower women and girls, we will realize a better future for us all.'

In his opening address at ‘A Woman’s Place is in the World!’ conference in Dublin ten days ago to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Beijing Platform for Action on women’s rights, President Michael D Higgins said that although achievements have been made, 'there remains a significant journey... to full equality' with 'many immediate and longer term challenges'.

President  Higgins has accepted a United Nations invitation to be a global champion for the rights of women and girls, becoming one of the group of ten champion world leaders for the UN HeforShe campaign, 'a global effort that aims to engage men and boys, one half of humanity, in removing the social and cultural barriers that prevent the other half of humanity from achieving their potential.' (President Michael D Higgins).

For members of the Mercy family, this day, this theme, this challenge and the aspirations voiced by President Higgins and the UN Secretary-General echo the sentiments expressed by Catherine McAuley who wrote, ‘ ... that no work of charity can be more productive of good to society, or more conducive to the happiness of the poor than the careful instruction of women, since whatever be the station they are destined to fill, their example and advice will always possess influence...' (Rules and Constitutions of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, Chapter 2 'Of the Schools').

May Catherine's optimism give us hope and her words strengthen our resolve as we act with mercy for justice.

Messages to:
Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA
President Michael D Higgins


Image: Janet Wood rsm (right - Parramatta Congregation) teaching a group of African Refugee women at Mamre House, Orchid Hills, New South Wales. Mamre works with refugees offering education, support, employment, citizenship services and through farming opportunities on the Mamre farm. Photo used with permission.

Vision in Action
Year of Consecrated Life eNews Series

‘Each month the Stewardship Councils of the 7 Schools belonging to Kildare Ministries commence their meetings with a significant time of reflection.

This year our theme is 'Hospitality'. For this coming month’s round of meetings we will be using extracts from Sr Elizabeth Davis’ article, “Daring Hospitality”. Thank you for this wonderful resource

Margaret Buckley Development Officer.

How are you using the monthly themes and related resources personally and/or in your ministry? Share your ideas and experiences with others through Mercy eNews. Post a comment in response to: Daring Hospitality (Elizabeth M Davis rsm) and Called to Compassion (Breege O'Neill rsm)

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

MIA Prayer Intention for the Coming Week

MIA joins with Christian women of many traditions in over 170 countries and regions in the World Day of Prayer on Friday, 6 March.

On this day, in a special way, we too 'affirm that prayer and action are inseparable and both have immeasurable influence in the world'.

Committed to respect for human life and to religious freedom, we are particularly mindful at this time of the brutal murders of twenty-one Coptic Christians by the so-called Islamic State in Libya, the deaths of 15 young Assyrians in Syria’s Hassake governorate, and the many Christians who have been captured from various Syrian villages and are being held hostage.

We continue to pray for an end to attacks on religious and ethnic minorities as we work for peace.

Post your own Prayer or Reflection in our online Chapel

Messages to: Mary Reynolds rsm - Executive Director MIA

Program: Visions of Mercy

Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG) is a poet and editor with a keen interest in Celtic Spirituality and the way the Arts can enhance our spiritual experience. Her writing is familiar to readers of Mercy eNews as during 2013 -2014 Mary  contributed an occasional series on poetry 'Reading for Mercy'.

Mary is also the author of the Prayer for MIA, written for the 20th Anniversary and Prayer for the Year of Consecrated Life.

During September Mary will be leading a six-day retreat at Baggot Street, exploring different aspects of Mercy by using a different art work each day as our focus, with the help of Scripture and poetry. With a combination of input and group reflection, writes Mary 'we will share the graces of our gazing. The Celtic proverb “What fills the eye fills the heart” comes close to describing the process. Definitely no special artistic skills or knowledge required, just a good eye and open heart. Art works chosen from across different cultures and ages'.

Messages to:
Mary Kay Dobrovolny rsm - Assistant Director Heritage & Spirituality
Mary Wickham rsm (ISMAPNG) - Poet

Volunteers need to be able to commit to 8 – 12 weeks between 17 January & 30 November, 2016

Volunteer positions are open to Sisters, Associates and Friends of Mercy.
Single person or couple.

Further details are linked to this item

Applications will be accepted up to 13 March 2015.

Please send a simple Curriculum Vitae, including your preferred dates, to:

Sylvia Williams rsm
Assistant Director-Administration & Finance

Messages to: Sylvia Williams rsm 

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Building the Global Mercy Community Online

Here are 6 ways you can contribute to Mercy E-news and help build the global Mercy community online:

Share a story from your Mercy community or ministry for publication in Mercy E-news
Reproduce a story from Mercy E-news with attribution in your community or ministry publication
Send a complimentary email to the contributor of an item you found interesting, informative or helpful
Forward a copy of Mercy E-news to a community member or colleague to alert them to this publication
Encourage subscriptions amongst the members of your community or ministry workplace
Contribute a Mercy resource, weblink, quote or fact to the mercyworld.org website

Messages to: the Editor

God of love and mercy, touch with your healing power and restore to full health: Dan and Mary Holohan, Denise Morrissey, Linda Bicich, Sadhbh Browne, Brendan Forde and Dympna Gill, Paul O'Brien and all whose names are on our prayer list.

We ask this with confidence through the intercession of Venerable Catherine McAuley. Amen.

Messages to: the Vice postulators

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MIA Members News
History of the Institute and Constitutions: Video Series Now Available Online (Americas)

For a number of years Helen Amos rsm has been sharing with Mercy candidates in the United States her wisdom and personal experience in the Institute's formation and the creation of our Constitutions. Now Sr Helen's presentation is available to all members and interested persons in a seven-part video series posted on YouTube.

Video 1: Nature and Purpose of the Constitutions (21:22)
Video 2: Second Vatican Council (18:22)
Video 3: Agreements (13:37)
Video 4: Origins of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas (22:09)
Video 5: Dialogue with the Vatican (21:22)
Video 6: Institute Chapter Actions (21:24)
Video 7: Navigating the Constitutions and Concluding Thoughts (19:22)

Welcoming communities may find the videos particularly helpful as they assist new members in learning about our history and our founding documents.

Messages to: Helen Amos rsm

Saturday, 7 March is the public open house for the new $465 million Mercy hospital in Joplin, Missouri, the first storm-hardened hospital ever built with windows rated to withstand 250 mph winds. Due to open on 22 March, the 900,000-square-foot facility makes good on Mercy’s bold promise to the community to replace the tornado-ravaged St. John’s Regional Medical Center with a stronger, state-of-the-art hospital.

Just a week after the tornado, Mercy opened a temporary hospital and has kept the doors open ever since. During the past 46 months since the tornado hit, Mercy kept 2,200 employees on the payroll, determined to avoid a a Katrina-like situation where people moved out of the community and never returned.

“Mercy’s mission is to serve, and that goes for our co-workers just as much as it does for our patients,” said Lynn Britton, Mercy president and CEO. “There was no question whether we would do everything in our power to keep our people working and set an example for Joplin recovery.”

Messages to: Jeff Raymond -Senior Media Relations Specialist, Mercy Health

Image: Joplin EF5 Tornado Then & Now, Mercy Health System

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2015 AMSSA Staff Conference (Australia and Papua New Guinea)

The AMSSA Executive invites you to the 13th Australasian Mercy Secondary Schools Association Biennial Conference, 13-16 August, with the theme Making Mercy a Verb.

Our Keynote Speakers: Mary Reynolds rsm (Executive Director of Mercy International Association), Dr Maryanne Loughry rsm AM (Associate Director, Jesuit Refugee Service Australia), Rev Dr Philip Marshall (Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Adelaide Archdiocese), will bring this theme to life through their own work in Mercy.

A series of workshops and panel presentations will allow us to explore further our own experiences of being Mercy in today’s world.

Download the Registration form here (PDF)  Early bird registration closes Friday, 8 May 2015

Download the Call Out Workshop Registration form here (PDF)

Messages to: Kitty Guerin - AMSSA Executive Officer



Once again in this Year for Consecrated Life Religious men and women including those from the Anglican Church gathered in the Grimshaw Room at St. Chad’s Cathedral on Saturday 7th February.  The Day included congratulations to those who were celebrating Jubilees this year; the opportunity to hear from and greet Archbishop Bernard Longley and sympathise with him on the recent death of his father Fred and to receive input from Sister Una O’Neill a Religious Sister of Charity who came from Dublin to speak to us...

Messages to: Noreen Cullen rsm c/- Barbara Jeffery rsm - Institute Leadership Team

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Final Reminder: Listening for the Heartbeat of God (The Congregation)

The Sisters of Mercy Western Province invite you to join them on Saturday, 28 March in Galway or on Sunday, 29 March in Athlone for a day with Revd John Philip Newell, Poet, Peacemaker and Scholar, internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality.

Bookings for the days with John Philip close this Friday, 6 March 2015.

Further details and the booking form can be downloaded here (WORD), (PDF).

Please return your booking fom with your cheque/postal order to:

Sisters of Mercy Western Province
Society Street
Co Galway

All interested persons are welcome to attend these events.

Messages to: Sisters of Mercy Western Province

The Australian Human Rights Commission’s report, The Forgotten Children, has made public the devastating horrors that child asylum seekers have experienced in Australian detention centres. The Institute of Sisters of Mercy of Australia and and Papua New Guinea has joined over 200 organisations calling for the immediate release of children from immigration detention.

Messages to: Siobhan Marren - Advocacy Officer ISMAPNG

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Mercy Matters

'If we wish to sow the seeds of a real hope in our world, I think Catherine McAuley would say: This is the way we must do it—one person at a time: one answering of the figurative doorbell, one opening of the figurative door, one embrace of the stranger, one welcoming of the other, one sharing of our bread and milk—one person at a time.'

Patricia Smith rsm, ‘Mercy Values Today: Ever Ancient, Ever New’ in MAST 4, no3 (Summer 1994), p.10

Support MAST

Reprinted in Morning and Evening Prayers of the Sisters of Mercy, 1998, p.931

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The Human Right to Water: The Free Beverage (new resource)

To coincide with World Water Day, 22 March, 2015, Mercy Reaches Mercy has launched this timely booklet that looks at the situation of water worldwide.

Margaret Casey rsm, Leader of the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy (Ireland), in her Forward to the booklet, invites each of us to stand in solidarity with the 783 million people worldwide who do not have access to clean, safe, and adequate water.

Cost US $2 plus postage
UK £1 plus postage
EU €1.50 plus postage
Discount for multiple copies

Contact: Deirdre Mullan rsm
Mercy Reaches Mercy
UNICEF Partnership with Religious Congregations

Download the flyer here (PDF)

1897: Death of M de Sales Meagher, Foundress of Cooktown, Cairns, from Dungarvan, Co Waterford

Editor: Mercy Mission & Charism Far North Queensland is this week's featured Mercy website

Post a fact about the Story of the Sisters of Mercy for our online archive

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Mercy Mission in far north Queensland is an initiative of the Sisters of Mercy in Cairns. The Mercy Mission and Charism Board was set up in January 2011 with the expressed purpose:

Inspired by Catherine McAuley’s vision of God’s mercy, we nurture relationships which:

  • Give meaning to individual’s life and work
  • Sustain hope
  • Work to further God’s Mission in far North Queensland
Read More

'iPhone headphones control buttons are used to control your incoming volume while you are on active call. You may use control buttons to increase or decrease your music volume. Your iPhone headphone is coming with three control buttons, volume up(+), volume down(-) and center button.

You may not realize that you can control many other apps on your iPhone using these three headphone buttons...'

Source: Mashtips

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'Mercy is God's Powerful word spoken in Jesus.'

Trocaire 1981

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Further Resources

Worth playing:

'I am a women and my place is in the home and my home is the whole wide world'. Sara Thomsen's song ‘A Woman’s Place’ celebrates the women of the world. The perfect song for International Women's Day. Watch/listen here (04:10)

Worth Watching:

Joan Chittister appeared on Oprah Winfrey's 'Super Soul Sunday' on 1 March. If you missed or want to watch it again, the full interview is available now on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Watch it here (42:26)

Worth Reading:

Opposing Human Trafficking

Men, women and children who are trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation experience high levels of abuse and severe physical and mental health problems, researchers have reported in a new study published in The Lancet Global Health. Read the article in Medical News Today. Read the study 'Health of men, women, and children in post-trafficking services in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam: an observational cross-sectional study' in The Lancet (8pps; PDF)


The March edition of Update (Newsletter) is now online. Read it here (10 pps; PDF)

Worth Attending:

If in Ireland in April

Join Colette Cullinan rsm for a Cosmology/Spirituality Workshop on 17 or 18 April. Download details here

If in Ireland in July

The Presentation Sisters are hosting A Day of Reflection with Edwina Gately on the theme Mystics, Rebels & Prophets on 17 July at Mount St Anne’s Co Laois.  Download details here

If in Chicago in September

In honor of the Year of Consecrated Life, Catholic Theological Union (CTU) is offering "Wake Up the World: Consecrated Life For Our Time.” The course will be taught by Maria Cimperman, RSCJ, Director of the Center for the Study of Consecrated Life and will be offered on Wednesday evenings from 7-9:30 p.m. beginning on Wednesday, 9 September, 2015. Details, including scholarship opportunities, can be found here

Worth Knowing:

New music albums for Lent & Easter

New Album in time for Easter From Chart-Topping Sisters Crowned Billboard’s #1 Classical Traditional Artist For Third Straight Year - 
The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles return with their 'contemplative, strikingly beautiful and spiritually uplifting new recording', Easter at Ephesus, to be released March 3, 2015 on
De Montfort Music/Decca.Watch/listen to their chart-topping sound here (05:46)

Dan Schutte, one of the best-known and most influential composers of Catholic music and liturgy, has just released a new prayer book and CD: From Ashes to Glory: A Prayer Book for Lent & Easter. Details are here


Mary Ewens OP, writer of 'The DNA of pre-Vatican II religious life', published this month in the Global Sisters Report, has an updated edition of her book 'The Role of the Nun in Nineteenth-Century America: Variations on the International Theme' (paperback, January 2014) available in kindle, hardback and paperback from Amazon

The Bottom Line:

'Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.'
- Howard Thurman, Theologian and Mystic

Send suggestions and contributions for the 'Worth...' section 2015 to: the Editor

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Certificate Number 194263. Public Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Office: Mercy International Association, 11 Adelaide Road, Dublin 2. Registered Charity no CHY 10078
Directors: Sister Denise Fox (ANZ), Sister Patricia McDermott (US), Ron Ashworth (US), Peter Burnett (GB), Sister Colette Cronin (GB), Mary Moorhead (IRL), Kevin Hoy (IRL), Sister Margaret Casey (IRL), Sister Scholasticah Nganda (IRL)